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Ryan Braun

Ryan Braun

Position(s):
3B, DH, LF, OF
Nicknames:
Hebrew Hammer
Born:
November 17, 1983
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
6' 1"
Weight:
200 lbs
Major League Debut:
5-25-2007 with MIL
Allstar Selections:
2007 ROOK, 2008 SS, 2009 SS, 2010 SS



'''Ryan Joseph Braun''' (born November 17, 1983, in [[Mission Hills, Los Angeles, California]]), nicknamed '''The Hebrew Hammer''', is an American [[right-handed]] [[Major League Baseball]] [[Major League Baseball All-Star Game|All-Star]] [[left fielder]] with the [[Milwaukee Brewers]]. He played college baseball at the [[University of Miami]].

He won the [[National League Rookie of the Year]] Award in 2007, after leading the [[National League]] (NL) in [[slugging percentage]]. He also won the [[The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award|''Sporting News'' NL Rookie of the Year]], the [[Baseball America Rookie of the Year|''Baseball America'' Rookie of the Year]], the ''[[Baseball Prospectus]]'' Internet Baseball NL Rookie of the Year, and the [[Players Choice Award|Players Choice NL Most Outstanding Rookie]] Awards. Over the prior decade, the only other NL hitter to win all five awards was [[Albert Pujols]], in 2001.

Braun was a starting NL All Star outfielder in 2008 through 2010, won the 2008–10 NL Outfielder [[Silver Slugger]] Awards, and was the starting left fielder for the USA team in the 2009 [[World Baseball Classic]]. He also led the NL in hits for the 2009 season. Braun was named to the ''Sporting News''' list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball, ranking No. 32 on the list in 2009 and No. 22 in 2010.

High school

Braun was a four-year [[Letterman (sports)|letterman]] on the [[Granada Hills High School]] baseball team, and three-year team captain and MVP. He played [[shortstop]], and until his junior year he also pitched. As a sophomore in 2000, he recorded the highest batting average of his prep career (.456), while posting a .654 on base percentage. During his junior year he hit .421, with a .668 OBP. Braun capped off his high school career by batting .451 as a senior, with an OBP of .675, and breaking the school record for career home runs (with 25).[http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/sports/brewers/202345 Mulhern, Tom, "Brewers: Braun's start a smashing success,"] ''[[Wisconsin State Journal]]'', July 21, 2007. Retrieved December 20, 2007.

He was a two-time all-area selection by the ''[[Los Angeles Times]]'', and a three-time choice by the ''[[Los Angeles Daily News]]''. Braun was rated the sixth-best shortstop prospect in the country by ''Team One Baseball'' as a senior,[http://media.www.thehurricaneonline.com/media/storage/paper479/news/2004/02/06/Sports/Braun.Hopes.To.Live.Up.To.Lofty.Expectations-599571.shtml "Braun hopes to live up to lofty expectations"] Kalis, Eric, ''The Hurricane'', February 6, 2004, accessed June 6, 2007 and rated among the top 100 overall prospects by ''[[Baseball America]]''. He graduated in 2002, but went undrafted as he told teams that he intended to go to college.[http://hurricanesports.cstv.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/braun_ryan00.html "Ryan Braun profile"], [[Miami Hurricanes]]. Retrieved February 20, 2007.

College

Offered scholarships to [[Stanford University]] and [[University of California, Berkeley|UC-Berkeley]], he instead attended the [[University of Miami]]. He chose Miami for its academics, its athletics, and its social scene, noting: "I think the girls were the deal closer on the recruiting trip."[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNeKlObbp7M "Ryan Braun Major League Baseball Player with the Milwaukee Brewers] SolisCompany.com", ''YouTube'', February 11, 2009, accessed May 28, 09 There, Braun was named "National Freshman of the Year," as well as a first-team "Freshman [[All-American]]," by ''Baseball America'' in 2003. He was also named first-team All-American by ''Collegiate Baseball''. He clinched the awards by batting .364 with 76 RBIs and 17 home runs. As a sophomore shortstop/[[Designated hitter|DH]], Braun hit .335 and slugged .606, stealing 21 bases.

During his junior year, his final and most successful at Miami, Braun batted .396 with 18 home runs, a .726 slugging percentage, 76 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases. He was ninth in slugging, and 10th in RBIs, in [[NCAA]] [[Division I (NCAA)|Division I]], and was named to ''Baseball America's'' 2005 College All-American Team as the DH. He moved from shortstop to third base during the year. His performance earned Braun a spot as one of the finalists for the [[Golden Spikes Award]], the most prestigious individual award in college baseball, and the [[Atlantic Coast Conference]] Baseball Player of the Year award.[http://books.google.com/books?id=aFkwyOIHsr8C&pg=PA317&lpg=PA317&dq=Aleksandra+Wozniak+jewish&source=bl&ots=ALnKiS6X2u&sig=6nAYWJHYDNa4j5xOAd5Rq47jDcM&hl=en&ei=QOwiSsvdDpzFtge04_XcBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3#PPA144,M1 Wechsler, Robert, ''Day by Day in Jewish Sports History'', p. 144, Ktav Publishing House, 2007, [[ISBN]] 0881259691, accessed June 1, 2009]

Minor leagues: 2005–07

The [[Milwaukee Brewers]] drafted Braun in the first round (fifth overall) in the 2005 [[Major League Baseball Draft|major league draft]] as a third baseman, and Braun signed for $2.45 million.[http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20050808/ai_n16878624 "Brewers' draft pick getting into swing of things"] Schelzig, Erik, ''[[Chicago Sun-Times]]'', August 8, 2005. Retrieved December 20, 2007. Assigned to the [[Helena Brewers]] in the Advanced Rookie [[Pioneer Baseball League|Pioneer League]] in 2005, Braun batted .341/.383/.585 in 10 games. He was then promoted to the [[West Virginia Power]] in the Class A [[South Atlantic League]], where he hit .355/.396/.645, and was rated the fifth-best prospect in the league. His most memorable moment there was when he hit a walk-off [[grand slam (baseball)|grand slam]] to lead the Power into the playoffs.[http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/05league20s/sal.html "2005 Top 20 Prospects: South Atlantic League"] Manuel, John, ''[[Baseball America]]'', September 27, 2005, accessed December 21, 2007. Following the 2005 season he was rated by ''Baseball America'' as the Brewers' Best Minor League Hitter for Average, the fifth-best prospect in the South Atlantic League, and the third-best prospect in the Brewers organization.

Braun began 2006 playing for the A-Advanced [[Brevard County Manatees]], where he earned a spot in the [[Florida State League]] [[All-Star]] game, and played in the [[All-Star Futures Game]] in [[Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|Pittsburgh]]. He was rated the top third base prospect in the FSL, and ''Baseball America'' rated him the best batting prospect in the league. On June 21, Braun was promoted to the Class AA [[Huntsville Stars]] (Alabama) of the [[Southern League (baseball)|Southern League]]. In July he was voted the Brewers' Organizational Player of the Month, and at the end of the season he was voted the sixth-best prospect in the Southern League.[http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/pressbox/downloads/y2007/mil/player_dev.pdf "'07 Milwaukee Brewers Player Development"] Milwaukee Brewers. Retrieved December 22, 2007. Collectively between Class A and Class AA, Braun finished with a .289 average, 22 home runs, 77 RBIs, and 26 stolen bases. He received the 2006 ''Robin Yount Performance Award'' as the Milwaukee Brewers Minor League [[player of the year]].[http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060919&content_id=1671428&vkey=news_mil&fext=.jsp&c_id=mil "Notes: Braun, Gallardo class of Minors"] McCalvy, Adam, Milwaukee Brewers, September 19, 2006

In 2006 in the [[Arizona Fall League]] he hit .326/.396/.641 in 92 at-bats for the [[Scottsdale Scorpions]], and was rated one of the top three prospects in the league. He led the AFL with 16 extra-base hits, tied for tops with 9 doubles, ranked second in slugging percentage and HR/AB ratio (1/15), tied for second in home runs (6), tied for third in RBIs (25), and was voted to the AFL All-Prospects Team.[http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/documents/2006/11/20/145540/1/All-Prospects_Team.pdf "2006 Arizona Fall League All-Prospects Team"] AFL press release, November 20, 2006. Retrieved December 21, 2007.

''Baseball America'' rated Braun the Brewers' # 2 prospect for 2007. He began the year with the [[Nashville Sounds]] of the [[AAA (baseball)|AAA]] [[Pacific Coast League]]. Before being called up to the majors in late May, in 113 at bats he led the PCL with a .726 slugging percentage while batting .354 (6th), with 10 home runs (T-2nd) and a .426 on base percentage (5th). At the same time, [[Craig Counsell]] and [[Tony Graffanino]] were batting a combined .214 while playing third base for the major league club.[http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2007-05-24-2664920685_x.htm "Brewers call up third baseman Ryan Braun"] ''[[USA Today]],'' May 24, 2007. Retrieved July 8, 2007.

Major leagues: Milwaukee Brewers (2007–present)

General

Braun has used as his at-bat songs "[[Superstar]]" by Chicago [[rapper]] [[Lupe Fiasco]],[http://onmilwaukee.com/buzz/articles/omcrecs073108.html "In Milwaukee Buzz; OnMilwaukee.com Recommends: July 31"] OnMilwaukee.com, July 31, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2009. "[[Go Getta]]" by [[Young Jeezy]] and [[R. Kelly]],[http://mlb.mlb.com/content/printer_friendly/mlb/y2008/m08/d15/c3313272.jsp Miller, Doug & Fultz, Dave, "@-bat music: Milwaukee Brewers"] ''MLB.com'', August 15, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2009. "[[My Life (The Game song)|My Life]]" by [[The Game (rapper)|The Game]], "[[Turn My Swag On]]" by [[Soulja Boy]],[http://m.denverpost.com/denverpost/db_21612/contentdetail.htm;jsessionid=52CD2A714F077129B55BF955672FA84A?contentguid=Gz7G4kgb&detailindex=2&pn=0&ps=5&full=true "Rox rolling, win eighth straight"] ''[[Denver Post]]'', June 11, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009. "[[Smooth Criminal]]" by [[Michael Jackson]], "[[Still Fly]]" by Page featuring [[Drake (entertainer)|Drake]], "[[All The Way Turnt Up]]" by [[Roscoe Dash]] featuring Soulja Boy, "[[Beamer, Benz, or Bentley]]" by [[Lloyd Banks]] featuring [[Juelz Santana]], and "[[Power (Kanye West song)|Power]]" by [[Kanye West]].

2007: Rookie of the Year

Spring training

The Brewers brought Braun to [[spring training]] in 2007.[http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070125/GPG0206/70125182/1225/GPGsports "Brewers GM: 'We feel we are a much better ballclub this year']," ''[[Green Bay Press-Gazette]]'', January 25, 2007 Their regular third baseman [[Corey Koskie]], suffering from [[post-concussion syndrome]], missed all of spring training, and ultimately missed the entire season.[http://www.rotowire.com/roto_to_gnews.htm?ID=208088&sport=mlb "Corey Koskie: Not Ready for Spring Training"] Rotowire. Retrieved February 20, 2007. While the Brewers intended to platoon veterans Counsell and Graffanino to start the season, they also gave Braun an extensive look. In his first game, Braun went 4–5 with a grand slam, a three-run home run, a double, a single, and a stolen base, along with seven RBIs.[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/boxscore.jsp?gid=2007_03_02_milmlb_sfnmlb_1 Boxscore], ''MLB.com'', March 2, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2007. In 11 games he batted .353 with a .912 slugging percentage, tying for 10th in the majors in home runs (5), and second in RBIs (15), despite having missed seven games.[http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/league_leaders.jsp?c_id=mlb&baseballScope=NL&statType=1&sortByStat=HR&timeSubFrame3=&timeSubFrame=23&Submit=Submit&timeFrame=1 "League Leaders"] ''MLB.com''. Retrieved September 11, 2007. He also committed four throwing errors. Sending him to minor league camp on March 20, Brewers' manager [[Ned Yost]] commented: "He's really done a nice job offensively, but he still needs to polish some of his defense. He knows what he needs to do. He's really, really close."[http://www.beloitdailynews.com/articles/2007/03/20/sports/sports11.txt "Brewers reassign Braun to Triple A"] ''[[Beloit Daily News]]'', March 20, 2007, accessed September 11, 2007

Regular season

In 2007 Braun had one of the most dominant rookie seasons in the history of the game.[http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/sports/275488 "Brewers: Braun confident about move to left"] Feuerherd, Vic, ''Wisconsin State Journal'', March 4, 2008. Retrieved March 4, 2008.

Called up on May 24 by the Brewers,[http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070524&content_id=1984533&vkey=news_mil&fext=.jsp&c_id=mil "Brewers promote top prospect Braun; Third baseman slugged 10 homers at Triple-A Nashville"] McCalvy, Adam, Milwaukee Brewers, May 24, 2007, accessed September 10, 2007 he hit his first major league home run two nights later, off Padres' starter [[Justin Germano]].[http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory?id=3237673 "Braun Flirts With Cycle to Lead Brewers; Ryan Braun Homers, Doubles and Singles to Help Lead Brewers to 8–5 Victory Over Marlins"] [[ABC News]], June 2, 2007, accessed December 21, 2007

His rookie hazing took place on his first full road trip after being called up. "I had to carry bags. I had to sing on the bus." With headphones to his iPod plugged into one ear, he sang "[[On Bended Knee]]" and "[[Water Runs Dry]]" by [[Boyz II Men]]. "I was into it, but I don't think my voice was too great. I feel like I'm going to have to dress up soon." That did happen later; in September he was inducted into the annual rite of Brewers' rookies being required to put on silly costumes, and wore a hot dog costume for a team flight to Atlanta.[http://web.archive.org/web/20071117181424/http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/sports/index.php?ntid=246893&ntpid=3 "Brewers: Loss to Astros extra painful"] Feuerherd, Vic, ''Wisconsin State Journal'', September 20, 2007, accessed September 24, 2007

Braun was voted the NL [[MLB Rookie of the Month Award|Rookie of the Month]] for June, after leading all NL rookies with 21 RBIs. He hit six home runs, tying him for first among NL rookies, while recording a .716 slugging percentage and a .435 [[on base percentage]]. In July he was voted the National League [[MLB Rookie of the Month Award|Rookie of the Month]] for the second straight month, as well as the NL [[Player of the Month]] (marking the first time a player won both awards in the same month). He hit a league-leading 11 home runs, with 25 RBIs, while batting .345.[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070802&content_id=2125384&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb "Braun top NL Player, Rookie for July; Brewers phenom the first to win both awards in same month"] Ang, Kelvin, ''MLB.com'', August 2, 2007, accessed September 14, 2007

In mid-August, Yost moved Braun from third in the lineup to cleanup, switching him with [[Prince Fielder]]. The move was expected to allow Braun to steal more, because when he batted in front of Fielder, it did not make sense for him to run and risk getting thrown out on steal attempts. In addition, if he were successful stealing, teams could simply counter by walking Fielder. The switch also allowed Yost to move left-handed [[Geoff Jenkins]] up in the [[batting order (baseball)|batting order]], behind the right-handed Braun.[http://www.madison.com/tct/sports/205602 "Brewers notes: Sheets progresses, appears on target for Sept. 1 return"] Semrau, Dennis, ''[[The Capital Times]]'', August 15, 2007, accessed September 14, 2007 At the end of August, however, Yost reversed the switch.[http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/sports/index.php?ntid=208867&ntpid=2 "Brewers: Parra hurt, rotation up in air"] Feuerherd, Vic, ''Wisconsin State Journal'', August 31, 2007. Retrieved September 14, 2007.

On September 9, the Brewers became the third team in major league history to open a game with three straight home runs, as [[Rickie Weeks]], [[J. J. Hardy]], and Braun connected off [[Cincinnati Reds]]' starting pitcher [[Phil Dumatrait]] in consecutive at bats. "That was pretty cool," Braun said. "I was never part of something like that before."[http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=3579696 "Brewers Puts Together Homer Barrage"] ABC News, accessed September 18, 2007

In September, as the Brewers sought in vain to capture the pennant, Braun was third in the NL in runs (27) and RBIs (29), and tied for 5th in home runs (9), while batting .308 with a .644 slugging percentage.

Season stats

In 2007, during which he played in 113 games and had 492 plate appearances, Braun led the National League with a .634 slugging percentage. He set a new all-time major league rookie slugging percentage record, breaking the record set by [[Mark McGwire]], who slugged .618 for Oakland in 1987.[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071112&content_id=2298624&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb "Braun named NL Rookie of the Year"] McCalvy, Adam, ''MLB.com'', November 12, 2007, accessed December 20, 2007

He was also fifth in the league in [[at bats per home run]] (13.3; behind [[Ryan Howard]], Prince Fielder, [[Barry Bonds]], and [[Adam Dunn]]) and [[On-base plus slugging|OPS]] (1.004; behind Bonds, [[Chipper Jones]], Fielder, and [[Matt Holliday]]), tied for fifth in home runs (34; behind Fielder, Howard, Dunn, and Holliday), and eighth in batting average (.324) among hitters with at least 490 plate appearances.[http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting?sort=slugAvg&split=0&league=nl&season=2007&seasonType=2&type=reg&ageMin=17&ageMax=51&minpa=475&hand=a&pos=all "MLB Player Batting Stats: 2007"] ESPN, accessed October 18, 2007 In addition, he had extra base hits in 13.4% of his plate appearances (more than the league leader), was tied for third in at bats per RBI (4.6), and was tied for fifth in "bases taken" with 19 (advanced on fly balls, passed balls, wild pitches, balks, etc.).[http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/2007-baserunning-batting.shtml "2007 National League Baserunning/Misc"] ''Baseball Reference'', accessed August 17, 2009

He also led the Brewers in batting average and slugging percentage, and was second behind Fielder in home runs, runs (91), and RBIs (97), tied for second in triples (6), and third in obp (.370) and steals (15), despite not having played in the first 48 games of the season. Braun obliterated the club rookie records of 28 home runs and 81 RBIs, set by Fielder in 2006.[http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/majors/features/265033.html "Record-Setting Bat Propels Braun"] Haudricourt, Tom, ''Baseball America'', October 17, 2007, accessed October 18, 2007 A projection of his statistics over 162 games put him at 49 homers and 139 RBIs.

Braun had the eighth-highest batting average in the National League in 2007 among players with 490 or more plate appearances. He finished with 492 plate appearances, 10 short of the number needed to [[Batting average|qualify]] for the NL [[batting title]]. Though he didn't have a high enough batting average to take advantage of it, an [[List of Major League Baseball batting champions|exception to the qualification rule]] allows a player to be awarded the title if he falls short of 502 plate appearances, but would still have the highest batting average if enough hitless at-bats were added to his total to enable him to reach the 502 mark.

"My family and friends know my stats more than I do," Braun said. "I'll look at that stuff at the end of the season."

Against lefties

Braun had even greater success against left-handed pitchers. He had the best batting average (.450), obp (.516), and slugging percentage (.964; over 200 points ahead of the second-best SP) of all major league hitters with at least 125 plate appearances against lefties, and was tied for second in the major leagues in home runs (15). "I like those guys," Braun joked. Braun credits his father. "I see the ball pretty well off lefties," he said. "My dad is left-handed, so growing up, the majority of time, I took batting practice off of him."

Home run pace

On July 7 Braun became the fastest in Brewer history to hit 10 major league home runs, hitting his 10th in his 38th game, shattering the previous record of 61. He hit his 15th home run in the 50th game of his career, and his 20th in his 64th game, making him the fastest to 15 and 20 since Pujols reached those milestones in the 49th and 63rd games of his career in 2001. He was also the fastest to 20 home runs in Brewers history. He hit his 25th home run in his 82nd game, quicker than any major leaguer since Mark McGwire in 1987, becoming just the 21st player ever to hit that many homers as a rookie.[http://www.statesman.com/sports/content/sports/stories/other/08/27/0827basenotes.html "Baseball notebook," ''[[Austin American-Statesman]]'', August 27, 2007, accessed September 19, 2007] He broke the Brewer rookie record of 28 home runs on September 9. Braun hit his 30th home in his 94th game. No player had hit as many homers in so few at-bats since McGwire hit 30 in 84 games during the 1986 and 1987 seasons.[http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/clubhouse?team=MIL "Brewers Report"], September 10, 2007, [[Associated Press]]. Retrieved September 11, 2007. His 34 home runs for the season were just 4 behind the NL rookie record of 38 home runs, shared by [[Frank Robinson]] (1956) and [[Wally Berger]] (1930), and were the fifth-highest total ever for an NL rookie.[http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/teams/report/MIL/10461998 "Brewers report: Notes, quotes," [[Sportsline]], November 9, 2007, accessed November 22, 2007]

While he was hitting home runs, he wasn't taking many walks. He was one of only six players to conclude a 30-homer season with more homers than walks (34 HR, 29 BB), the others being [[Alfonso Soriano]] (39–23 in 2002), [[Garret Anderson]] (35–24 in 2000), [[Pudge Rodriguez]] (35–24 in 1999), [[Joe Crede]] (30–28 in 2006), and [[Jose Guillen]] (31–24 in 2003).

Season awards

Braun won the 2007 [[Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award|National League Rookie of the Year Award]] in a vote by 32 members of the [[Baseball Writers Association of America|Baseball Writers' Association of America]], two from each National League city. Braun beat Tulowitzki, 128 points to 126 points, in the closest NL vote since the system was revised in 1980. Braun admitted that he had trouble sleeping at his [[Santa Monica]] condo the night before the announcement of the winner, wondering how it would turn out. "I finally got up around 6 a.m. and went for a jog, trying to work off some nervous energy," he said. "It's just incredible. It speaks to what Troy Tulowitzki did, also. It's very exciting."

In 2007, Braun led all NL rookies in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, extra base hits, home runs, and at bats per home run. He was second in RBIs and runs (behind [[Troy Tulowitzki]]; 2 and 10 fewer, respectively, in 158 fewer at bats) and in triples (behind [[Hunter Pence]]), third in hits, and tied for fourth in stolen bases. He was fourth in strikeouts (behind Young, Tulowitzki, and [[Mark Reynolds (baseball)|Mark Reynolds]]; with the highest strikeout ratio of rookies with at least 400 at bats, at 24.83%; Young was 2nd, at 24.78%), 3rd to [[Carlos Ruiz (baseball)|Carlos Ruiz]] (in 77 more at bats) and Tulowitzki (in 158 fewer at bats) in grounding into double plays (13), and tied for fifth in caught stealing (5). Since 1947, Pujols was the only other NL rookie to hit at least .320 with 30 homers. Of all prior NL Rookies of the Year, only Pujols and [[Willie McCovey]] hit for higher batting averages in their rookie year.[http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/roy_rol.shtml "Rookie of the Year Awards & Rolaids Relief Award Winners,"] [[Baseball-Reference]]. Retrieved November 23, 2007.

Braun was also voted the 2007 NL [[The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award|''Sporting News'' Rookie of the Year]] by 488 major league players and 30 managers. In addition, he was awarded the 2007 [[Baseball America Rookie of the Year|''Baseball America'' Rookie of the Year Award]]. He won the ''[[Baseball Prospectus]]'' 2007 Internet Baseball NL Rookie of the Year Award, with 666 first place votes, versus 487 for Tulowitzki and 16 for Pence.[http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=6897 "The 2007 Internet Baseball Awards; Results and Wrap-Up"] Spirta, Greg, Baseball Prospectus, November 1, 2007. Retrieved November 2, 2007. Braun was also voted the 2007 [[Players Choice Award|Players Choice NL Most Outstanding Rookie]], in a vote by his fellow major league players.[http://www.allamericanpatriots.com/48735746_sports_major_league_baseball_players_recognize_top_rookie_each_league, "Major League Baseball Players Recognize Top Rookie in Each League"] All American Patriots, October 26, 2007. Retrieved November 3, 2007. "When your peers recognize you with an award, that's great," he said. "Those are the guys out there on the field with you, competing against you. Their opinion counts the most, for a player."[http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=684913 "Defense could affect voting; Braun has the edge in offensive numbers"] Haudricourt, Tom, ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'', November 11, 2007. Retrieved November 23, 2007.

Braun was a unanimous selection as the [[Topps All-Star Rookie Rosters|2007 Topps Rookie All-Star Third Baseman]], in balloting of Major League managers.[http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20071126&content_id=2307272&vkey=pr_kc&fext=.jsp&c_id=kc KC "Topps announces the 49th annual Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team"] KansasCity.Royals.mlb.com, November 26, 2007, accessed November 26, 2007, Royals press release He was also voted the Brewers' "Top Newcomer" by the Milwaukee chapter of the [[Baseball Writers Association of America]].[http://www.todaystmj4.com/sports/local/10638992.html "Brewers Players Receive Awards"] DeLong, Katie, Associated Press, October 18, 2007. Retrieved October 18, 2007. In voting for the NL Most Valuable Player award, Braun received two 10th-place votes.[http://colorado.rockies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071120&content_id=2304708&vkey=news_col&fext=.jsp&c_id=col "Holliday finishes second in MVP voting"] Harding, Thomas, ''MLB.com'', November 20, 2007. Retrieved November 23, 2007.

2008: All Star and Silver Slugger

Spring training

In spring training, Braun hit .368/.431/.719, and tied for 3rd in the NL in home runs with 5, and 7th in RBIs with 16, while playing in only 22 of the Brewers' 29 games.[http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable_player_stats.jsp?teamPosCode=all&statType=1&timeFrame=1&Submit=Submit&c_id=mlb&subScope=teamCode&sitSplit=&venueID=&baseballScope=NL&timeSubFrame=23&&sortByStat=HR Spring Training 2008] ''MLB.com'', April September 2008, accessed April 9, 2008

[[File:DSC03365 Ryan Braun.jpg|thumb|left|180px|Braun; 2008]]

Regular season

At the beginning of the season it was anticipated that Braun would hit [[cleanup hitter|cleanup]], behind Fielder, giving him more opportunities to steal, but during the season he batted third the vast majority of the time.[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22905281/ "Brew crew to be NL’s big ’08 surprise"; Improved defense, powerful offense will shock league"] DeMarco, Tony, MLB.com, January 20, 2008, accessed January 4, 2008[http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/flb/story?page=campnotes0311 "Fantasy Camp Notes: No room left for Fields?"] Harris, Christopher, ESPN.com, March 11, 2008, accessed March 14, 2008[http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=731088 Haudricourt, Tom, "Notes: Sheets gets opening gig," ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'', March 22, 2008, accessed March 23, 2008][http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/bsplit.cgi?n1=braunry02&year=2008 "Ryan Braun 2008 Batting Splits"] baseball-reference.com, accessed March 6, 2009

In May, Braun was second in the league in home runs (11), while batting .322. He drove in 134 runs in his first 162 games in the majors, the highest total of any active player, one RBI ahead of Pujols. On June 17, Braun drove in his 152nd career RBI, in 182 games. He reached the 150-RBI milestone faster than any Major Leaguer since Boston's [[Walt Dropo]] needed only 155 games from 1949–51.[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20080617&content_id=2946852&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb "Home runs, great start in Brewers' win; Four Milwaukee batters go deep as Parra pitches well"] McCalvey, Adam, ''MLB.com'', June 18, 2008, accessed June 18, 2008

Braun was named the NL's Player of the Month for July, after batting .366 for the month (6th in the league) with 9 home runs (3rd), and 23 RBIs (7th). He also led the league with 76 total bases and 18 extra base hits, and was among NL leaders with 37 hits (2nd), 3 triples (2nd), a 1.163 OPS (3rd), and a .752 slugging percentage (4th). He had back-to-back 4-hit games, just the 5th player in team history to accomplish that feat.[http://www.madison.com/tct/blogs/brewers/299257 "What's Brewin': Braun and Sabathia honored"] Semarau, Dennis, The Capital Times, August 4/08, accessed March June 9 "It's a huge honor," Braun said. "The way I look at it, you're the MVP of the National League for that month. It's definitely a big accomplishment.[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080804&content_id=3252439&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb "Braun earns NL Player of the Month; Left fielder hit .366 with nine homers and 23 RBIs in July"] McCalvey, Adam, August 4, 2008, accessed March 6, 2009

As of August 8, Braun had had one of the best major league career starts ever. He was first, in 227 games to start a career, with 558 total bases and 133 extra base hits, second with 64 home runs, and tied for second with 181 RBIs.[http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5jFlVCKXK0Bw-HLn3AvYilc0_v4qA The Canadian Press]

On August 9, Braun strained the [[intercostal muscle|intercostal]] muscles around his [[Abdominal internal oblique muscle|oblique]] [[ribcage]]. That led to him missing a number of games,[http://mlbplayers.mlb.com/content/printer_friendly/mlbpa/y2008/m08/d18/c3328607.jsp "Back in the swing of things"] Braun, Ryan, MLB.com, August 18, 2008, accessed March 6, 2009 and shorten his swing for a number of weeks. After returning, on September 25 Braun hit his first grand slam in "grand" fashion. With the bases loaded, he delivered a 2-out, 2–2 pitch from the Pirates' [[Jesse Chavez]] into the left field bleachers of [[Miller Park (Milwaukee)|Miller Park]] in the bottom of the 10th inning, winning the game 5–1, and keeping the Brewers' 2008 post-season hopes alive. Three days later, Braun helped put the Brewers into the post-season for the first time since 1982, by hitting a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 8th against the Chicago Cubs. The homer gave the Brewers the lead and was the difference in the game, giving the Brewers a one-game lead over the New York Mets for the NL wild card.

'''All Star Game.''' Braun was a starting outfielder for the NL in the 2008 [[Major League Baseball All-Star Game|All Star Game]]. He finished first in fan voting among NL outfielders, and second among all NL players, with 3,835,840 votes, behind only [[Chase Utley]] of the Phillies (3,889,602).[http://www.madison.com/tct/sports/294867 "Braun to start in All-Star Game; Sheets lands berth"] ''The Capital Times'', July 6, 2008, accessed March 6, 2009 He also finished first in player voting. Braun was the first Brewers outfielder voted to start an All Star game.[http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080706/GPG0206/80706027/1225 greenbaypressgazette.com] He was one of only seven first-time starters in the game, and–along with [[Kosuke Fukudome]] and [[Josh Hamilton]]–one of only three who had not reached the major leagues until 2007 or 2008.[[File:Ryan Braun 2008-2.jpg|thumb|right|180px|Braun; 2008]]

  • '''Home Run Derby.''' Braun came in third in the [[2008 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby|Home Run Derby]] at [[Yankee Stadium]]. "It's something you dream about," Braun said. "That's as big a stage as you can get on. Obviously, the lights are going to really bright that night, so it's going to be a lot of fun." Braun had his friend and agent, Nez Balelo, a former [[Seattle Mariners]] minor league [[infielder]], pitch to him. [http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080712&content_id=3122445&vkey=allstar2008&fext=.jsp "Braun pegs agent as Derby BP pitcher; Brewers outfielder selects friend and former prospect"] McCalvey, Adam & Fultz, David, ''MLB.com'', July 13, 2008, accessed March 6, 2009 Braun reached the upper deck a handful of times, and his longest homer was estimated at 448 feet.[http://www.waow.com/Global/story.asp?S=8675081&nav=menu1360_4 WAOW News Line 9] He hit seven home runs in each of the first and second rounds, finishing with 14 (three behind finalist [[Justin Morneau]], who hit five in the final round to win the Derby).[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080714&content_id=3134993&vkey=allstar2008&fext=.jsp "Braun bows out in Derby semifinals; Brewers slugger notches 14 long balls at Yankee Stadium"] Brock, Corey, ''MLB.com'', July 14, 2008, accessed March 6, 2009



'''Home Run Pace.''' On June 3, Braun became the third-fastest major league player to reach 50 career home runs. He did so in 171 career games (the only players to reach that plateau sooner were [[Rudy York]] and Mark McGwire). On July 8, Braun hit his 56th home run in his 200th game, the third-highest total ever in a major leaguer's initial 200 games, behind McGwire (59) and Rudy York (59).

In early August Braun hit his 30th home run, becoming just the second player in MLB history to hit 30 or more homers in each of his first two seasons, joining Pujols.[http://www.transworldnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?StoryID=55458 "Brewers' Prince Fielder, Manny Parra Involved in Dugout Fight"] ''Trans World News'', August 5, 2008, accessed March 6, 2009 Braun hit 71 home runs in his first two seasons, tying him with Pujols for fourth all-time. [[Joe DiMaggio]] tops the list with 75 home runs in 1936 and 1937, followed by [[Ralph Kiner]] (74), and [[Eddie Mathews]] (72).[http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/mariners/2008101767_nlbeat09.html "NL|Fired Mariners GM Bill Bavasi back in game with Reds"] ''Seattle Times'', March September 8, accessed March June 9[http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20080809/SPORTS/412486938&title=Hot_Corner__Schmidt_may_be_even_bigger_flop_than_Zito "Hot Corner; Schmidt may be even bigger flop than Zito"] Fletcher, Jeff, ''The Press Democrat'', August 9, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2009.

'''Season Stats.''' In 2008, in 151 games Braun hit 37 home runs (tied for 4th in the NL, behind [[Ryan Howard]], [[Adam Dunn]], and [[Carlos Delgado]]), with 106 RBIs (9th), and batted .285 with a .553 slugging percentage (5th). He also led the league with 83 extra base hits, and had 338 total bases (2nd in the NL), seven triples (6th), 16.5 at bats per home run (10th), and 611 at bats (10th). 12.5% of his plate appearances were extra base hits (3rd in the NL; behind [[Ryan Ludwick]] and Pujols), he had 29 infield hits (7th), and he stole third base 6 times (9th).

Against starting pitchers, Braun hit .244 the first time he faced them in a game, .331 the second time, and .328 with a .672 slugging percentage the third time. Braun led the Brewers in batting average, slugging percentage, triples, home runs, RBIs, extra base hits, total bases, at-bats-per-home run, OPS (.888), runs (92), and hits (174).[http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIL/2008.shtml "2008 Milwaukee Brewers"] baseball-reference.com, accessed March 6, 2009

'''Post-season.''' Braun hit .313 in October against the Phillies in his first post-season series, which the Brewers lost 3–1.

'''Contract.''' In March the Brewers renewed Braun's contract for $455,000, a $75,000 increase.[http://blogs.jsonline.com/brewers/archive/2008/03/02/fielder-braun-hart-get-renewed.aspx "Fielder, Braun, Hart get renewed"] Haudricourt, Tom, ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'', March 3, 2008, accessed March 3, 2008

Braun then signed an 8-year, $45–$51 million contract extension (the total depending on his "Super 2" service-time ranking after the 2009 season) on May 15, 2008.[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080516&content_id=2711958&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id= "Terms of Braun contract revealed"] McCalvey, Adam, May 16, 2008, ''MLB.com'', accessed March 6, 2009 The contract is through the year 2015. The deal includes Braun's $455,000 salary for 2008, and a $2.3 million bonus in 2008. It could increase to $51 million through incentives. Braun also has a no-trade clause for the first four years, and then a limited no-trade clause allowing him to block deals to 12 teams from 2012–13, and 6 teams from 2014–15. The contract will keep Braun locked up through his age-31 season.[http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3397385 "Braun signed through 2015 with richest deal in Brewers history"] ESPN.com, May 16, 2008, accessed March 6, 2009 It was the largest contract in Brewers' history, surpassing [[Jeff Suppan]]'s. It was also the largest contract in baseball history given to a player with less than three years' experience.[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080515&content_id=2705204&vkey=news_mil&fext=.jsp&c_id=mil "Brewers sign Braun to eight-year deal; Contract for $45 million is largest for 'zero-to-three' player"] McClavy, Adam, ''MLB.com'', May 15, 2008, accessed March 6, 2009 Braun's agent, Nez Balelo, crunched enough numbers to show him what he potentially could have made over the life of this contract if he had chosen not to sign it. "But the question I ultimately asked myself was, `What can't I buy with that amount of money?"' Braun said.

Season awards

Braun was voted to the 2008 NL ''Sporting News'' All Star Team. A panel of 41 major league general managers and assistant general managers chose the team.[http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=477897 "Sporting News' N.L. and A.L. All-Stars"] Hille, Bob ''The Sporting News'', October 24, 2008, accessed March 6, 2009 He was also awarded the 2008 NL Outfielder [[Silver Slugger Award]], determined annually by a vote of major league coaches and managers who select the top offensive performers at each position in both leagues. The award, sponsored by [[Louisville Slugger]], is based on a combination of statistics, including batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage, as well as the coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value.[http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/34438219.html "Brewers' Braun mines first Silver Slugger Award"] Haudricourt, Tom, ''Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel'', November 13, 2008, accessed March 6, 2009 In voting for the 2008 NL MVP award, Braun was third (with 139 points),[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081117&content_id=3681885&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb "Crowning achievement: Pujols NL MVP; Cards star becomes first Dominican player to win two such awards"] Leach, Matthew, ''MLB.com'', November 17, 2008, accessed March 6, 2009 behind Pujols and Ryan Howard, for which he received a $50,000 bonus.[http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory?id=6270675 "Pujols Wins NL MVP Award, Howard Finishes Second; Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols wins second NL MVP award, while Ryan Howard finishes second"] Walker, Ben, ABC News, November 17, 2008, accessed March 6, 2009

2009: All Star, Silver Slugger, and Team USA

In 2009 Braun was named to ''[[Sporting News]]''' list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball, ranking No. 32 on the list. A panel of 100 baseball people, many of them members of the Hall of Fame and winners of major baseball awards, were polled to arrive at the list.[http://www.jsonline.com/sports/45556307.html "Braun makes greatest list"] Wolfey, Bob, ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'', May 20, 2009, accessed June 1, 2009

World Baseball Classic

Braun was invited to play for Team USA in 2009 in the second [[World Baseball Classic]]. "I'm really excited to get to represent my country," Braun said. "It's an honor just to get invited for the event."[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081219&content_id=3723645&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb "Braun to play for Team USA; Brewers slugger to represent country in World Baseball Classic"] McCalvey, Adam, ''MLB.com'', December 19, 2008, accessed March 1, 2009 He was the team's starting left fielder and batted .381, helping Team USA reach the semi-finals.[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090119&content_id=3749463&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb "Braun likely to see Classic playing time; Outfielder one of nine players with Crew ties on initial rosters"] McCalvey, Adam, ''MLB.com'', January 19, 2009, accessed March 1, 2009[http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/38724622.html "Brewers still back Rogers; Ailing shoulder has stalled pitcher's career"] Haudricourt, Tom, ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'', January 31, 2009, accessed March 1, 2009

Regular season

Braun was named National League [[Player of the Week]] for May 4–10, after leading the NL with 12 RBIs for the week while hitting .458/.567/.958 with 3 home runs. He hit the second grand slam of his career and recorded a career-high six RBIs on May 6, and on May 9 he reached base in all five of his plate appearances.

Braun led all NL outfielders in fan voting for the All Star Game for the second year in a row, with 4,138,559 votes, ahead of [[Raúl Ibáñez]] (4,053,355) and [[Carlos Beltrán]] (2,812,295). He was third among all NL vote-getters, trailing Pujols (5,397,734) and [[Chase Utley]] (5,027,029). He was the first Brewer to be voted in as a starter in consecutive years since Yount (in 1982 and 1983), and along with Yount and Molitor (1980 and 1988) one of only three Brewers position players voted to start twice. Braun started in [[right field]], the first time he had ever played the position, and batted cleanup, going 0–2.

On October 3, Braun collected his 200th hit of the season. He became the fourth Brewer in team history to reach 200 hits in a season, and the first in 18 years, joining [[Cecil Cooper]], [[Paul Molitor]], and [[Robin Yount]]. He finished the season with an NL-leading 203 hits, becoming the first Brewer to lead his league in hits since Molitor topped the AL in 1991. His .320 batting average at the end of the season was the highest by a Brewer since [[Jeff Cirillo]] hit .326 in 1999.

Braun was second all-time, with 79 home runs over his first two calendar years in the major leagues, to [[Phillies]] Hall of Famer [[Chuck Klein]] (83); ahead of third-place Joe DiMaggio and Mark McGwire (77). If Braun continues to hit home runs at the rate he had hit them through July 1, 2009, he will reach 600 home runs in his 15th major league season.[http://bleacherreport.com/articles/210077-why-ryan-braun-is-the-undisputed-second-best-hitter-in-the-nl "Why Ryan Braun Is the Undisputed Second-Best Hitter in the NL"] Hogg, Curt, ''Bleacher Report'', July 1, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2009. In September Braun became the second-fastest active player to hit 100 home runs (behind only Ryan Howard), as he hit his 100th homer in his 400th major league game.[http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/wires/09/12/2010.ap.bbo.baseball.today.1st.ld.writethru.1281/ "Baseball Today," ''Sports Illustrated'', September 13, 2009, accessed September 16, 2009] Later in the month, he became the second player in major league history (joining Pujols) to hit 30 or more home runs in each of his first three seasons. Braun's 103 home runs in his first three Major League seasons are sixth-most in baseball history, behind Pujols (114), [[Mark Texiera]] (107), and three [[Hall of Fame]]rs—Kiner (114), Matthews (112), and Joe DiMaggio (107).

As in 2007, in 2009 Braun had even greater success against left-handed pitchers. Against them he had the second-best OBP (.475), slugging percentage (.723), and OPS (1.198), and third-best batting average (.395), of all NL hitters with at least 125 plate appearances against lefties.[http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/split/31/league/nl/minpa/125 "MLB Player Batting Stats: 2009"] ESPN. Retrieved October 6, 2009.

In 2009, in addition to leading the NL in hits, Braun was 2nd in runs (113), 4th in RBIs (114), total bases (350), extra base hits (77), and hit by pitch (13), 7th in batting average (.320) and [[power-speed number]] (24.6), 8th in OPS (.937), 9th in slugging percentage (.551) and doubles (39), tied for 10th in triples (6), and tied for 11th in home runs (32). He was also 4th in the league in [[infield hit]]s (25). He became only the second Brewer ever to hit 30 home runs and steal 20 bases in the same season. Braun also became the eighth player in Major League history with at least 100 runs, 100 RBIs, 200 hits, 30 homers, 20 stolen bases, and a .300 average in the same season.

Season awards

Braun was voted to the 2009 NL ''Sporting News'' All Star Team, making the team for the second year in a row. He received votes from all 14 NL team executives who voted (along with Pujols and Utley, as Mauer was named on all AL ballots). Braun was awarded the 2009 NL Outfielder Silver Slugger Award, winning it for the second year in a row. He became the first Brewer since Molitor, more than two decades prior, to win a Silver Slugger Award in consecutive years. Cecil Cooper was the only other Brewer to have done it.

2010: All Star and Silver Slugger

Braun was named to ''[[Sporting News]]''' 2010 list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball, ranking No. 22 on the list.

In 2010, Braun was elected a starting NL All Star outfielder for the third year in a row. He led all Major League outfielders in All Star balloting for the third straight year, despite Milwaukee being the smallest media market in the major leagues, with 2,972,525 votes. As in 2009, he received more votes than any NL players other than Pujols (4,380,669) and Utley (3,616,038). He became the first Brewer to be a three-time All Star starter, passing Yount and Molitor.

Braun was named NL Player of the Week for August 1–8, after leading the majors with a .538 batting average, 14 hits, and 8 runs scored, and notching a career-best 5-hit performance in one game.

For the season, Braun was 2nd in the NL in hits (188) and doubles (45), 5th in total bases (310), 6th in runs (101), 7th in RBIs (103) and extra base hits (71), and 9th in batting average (.304).

Braun hit the 8th-most home runs by any major league player through his first four seasons (128). He became the first player in Brewers franchise history to hit 20 or more home runs for each of his first four seasons, and the third player in Brewers history to have 100 or more RBIs in three consecutive seasons (joining [[Richie Sexson]] (2001–03) and Prince Fielder (2007–09)). He also became the second player in Brewers history to have consecutive 100-RBI, 100-run seasons (joining Cecil Cooper, who did it in 1982–83). His 94 home runs in 2008–10 were the most by any right-handed outfielder.

Season awards

Braun was awarded the 2010 NL Outfielder Silver Slugger Award, winning it for the third year in a row. He became the second Brewer to win a Silver Slugger Award in three consecutive years, joining Cecil Cooper (1980–82). Robin Yount is the only other Brewer to have won the award three times (1980, 1982, and 1989). Braun was also voted to the 2010 NL ''Sporting News'' All Star Team, making the team for the third year in a row.

Tools

Hitting

Braun has the ability to hit for average and significant power. His swing is compact and short, with tremendous bat speed and a protracted follow-through, and he is a [[pull hitter]] with tremendous bat speed and strong wrists.[http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9709556/Fielder,-Braun-are-game's-best-power-hitting-duo Morosi, Jon Paul, "Fielder, Braun are game's best power-hitting duo,"] ''[[Fox Sports]]'', June 21, 2000. Retrieved June 21, 2009. Braun waits well on offspeed pitches, and uses the entire field. He drives the ball, no matter where it is in the strike zone.[http://www.projectprospect.com/profile-ryan-braun-06/ "Profile: Ryan Braun"] Schellenger, Koby, Project Prospect, December 27, 2006. Retrieved December 27, 2007. Brewers hitting coach Jim Skaalen observed: "He's got tremendously quick hands and really hits through the ball. He stays on the ball as well as anyone we've got."

Speed

In addition, his speed garnered him comparisons to [[New York Yankees]] third baseman [[Alex Rodriguez]]. Braun has been timed at 4.2 seconds to first base from the right side of the plate. In spring training in 2007, he was second-fastest in the Brewers' 60-yard dash.[http://www.beloitdailynews.com/articles/2007/03/07/sports/sports08a.txt "Brewers' prospect Braun focusing on defense"] ''Beloit Daily News'', March 17, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2007.

Defense

Third base

A shortstop most of his life and in college, Braun was inconsistent on defense after switching to third base in 2006. However, he was noted for his athleticism on defense, his occasional [[web gem]]s, and particularly for his powerful throwing arm, which was rated the best infield arm in the Brewers' minor league system by ''Baseball America'' in early 2007.[http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/263202.html "Top 10 Prospects: Milwaukee Brewers"] Haudricourt, Tom, ''Baseball America'', February 2, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2007. Braun was charged with 34 errors in 2006, the majority on throws. "It's a matter of proper footwork," said Ash at the beginning of 2007. "Most of his problems come because he relies on his arm, which is very strong."[http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:p5DwiqZ0j0wJ:www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-157837856.html+%22waiting+for+word+on+third%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us "Waiting for Word on Third; Corey Koskie's Slow Recovery from Injury has the Breweres Pondering Options"] Feuerherd, Vic, Wisconsin State Journal, January 17, 2007 accessed December 27, 2007While Yost removed Braun from a number of games in September 2007 for defense, he praised Braun for his improvements.[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070923&content_id=2225543&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb "Notes: Braun on the defensive; Yost has consistently lifted slugger in late-inning situations"] McCalvy, Adam, ''MLB.com'', September 23, 2007. Retrieved September 24, 2007. "The great thing about it is it doesn't involve throwing at all now," said Yost, referring to Braun's biggest issue in the spring. "It involves first-step quickness to the ball, which will increase his range. [He needs to] soften his hands a little bit. [His] hand-eye coordination to the ball needs to be a little better. That comes with repetition, repetition, repetition." Braun finished 2007 last of all eligible third basemen in fielding percentage (.895, with 26 errors in 248 total chances; only the fourth third baseman since 1916 to play 100 games or more in a season and have a fielding percentage under .900),[http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2007/08/ryan_braun_grea.php "Ryan Braun: Greatest First-Year Slugger Ever?"] Lederer, Rich, Baseball Analysts, August 20, 2007. Retrieved October 18, 2007. range factor (2.11), and zone rating (.697). His target at first base was Prince Fielder, who finished 2007 last of all eligible major league first basemen in range factor (8.49), and first in errors (14). Similarly, his target at second base, [[Rickie Weeks]], had the lowest fielding percentage of all NL second basemen (.976), and the lowest zone rating among all major league second basemen (.737).

It was suggested that it was possible that Braun would learn to play the position adequately, given that [[David Wright (baseball)|David Wright]] (who tied for the major league lead in errors by a third baseman in 2005 (his second in the league)[http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/fielding?groupId=8&season=2005&seasonType=2&split=81&sortColumn=errors "MLB Player Fielding Stats: 2005"] ESPN. Retrieved November 23, 2007. in 2007 became a "passable defender" (and won the NL Gold Glove at third base).[http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=687220 "Braun wouldn't veto third amendment"] Hunt, Michael, ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'', November 16, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2007.

Braun, for his part, noted after the 2007 season: "It's only my second full (professional) year of playing third base. I don't expect to be perfect, but I certainly expect to be better than I have been. I have to continue to work hard, and hopefully I'll improve."

Left field

In January 2008, however, the Brewers acquired three-time [[Rawlings Gold Glove Award|Gold Glove]]-winning center fielder [[Mike Cameron]], prompting the team to move center fielder [[Bill Hall (infielder)|Bill Hall]] to third base and Braun to left field.

Before the news broke, Braun was taking ground balls at [[Pepperdine University]] near Los Angeles. General Manager [[Doug Melvin]] left him a voicemail, and after returning the call and learning of the team's plans Braun grabbed his outfield glove, and started taking fly balls. Braun supported the switch. "[The outfield glove] is not broken in yet, but it will get there. I feel like I'm a good enough athlete and have a good enough work ethic to make the transition pretty easily."

While Braun's outfield experience until then had consisted of "two games in center field my freshman year in high school,"[http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/brewers/2008-03-03-brewers-outlook_N.htm "Hall, Braun positioned to win after offseason changes"] Nightengale, Bob, ''USA Today'', March 3, 2008. Retrieved March 4, 2008. Braun had speed, arm strength that would make him stand out against other left fielders, and athleticism to make the transition to the outfield.[http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2008/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&id=3260725 "New faces, position changes for Brewers this spring"] Crasnick, Jerry, ESPN, February 24, 2008. Retrieved February 25, 2008. Early reports were good, as in spring training in 2008 he showed an ability to cover ground, go back on the ball, to his left into the gap, and to his right to cut off balls down the line. Braun looked good tracking liners and high fly balls, and took good routes when cutting off balls down the line or in the gap, holding batters to singles.[http://blogs.jsonline.com/brewers/archive/2008/03/29/braun-gets-turned-around.aspx "Braun gets turned around"] Witrado, Anthony, ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'', March 29, 2008, accessed March 29, 2008 In March 2008 Manager Ned Yost said that Braun has been "spectacular" in left,[http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/brewers/2008-03-03-ask-the-manager-yost_N.htm "Ask the manager: Ned Yost"] Nightengale, Bob, ''USA Today'', March 3, 2008. Retrieved March 3, 2008. and "he's got an opportunity one day to win a [[Gold Glove]] in left field. He certainly does."[http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/sports/275488 "Braun making strides; Yost likes his quick progress"] Haudricort, Tom, March 8, 2008, accessed March 10, 2008

In July, by which time Braun was being mentioned in the press as a Gold Glove candidate, [[Ed Sedar]], the Brewers' outfield defense expert, said: "He probably has the best arm in baseball in left field. He can cover more ground than 90% of the outfielders out there."[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080727&content_id=3206227&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb "Braun excelling at plate, in field; Former third baseman finding left field suits him just fine"] Radcliffe, JR, ''MLB.com'', July 27, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2009.

In 2008, Braun led all major league outfielders with a 1.000 fielding percentage. He also led all NL left fielders in putouts (275), and was second in the league in [[range factor]] (1.95) and fourth in assists (9), in 1,310.1 innings.[http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/fielding?groupId=8&season=2008&seasonType=2&split=83&sortColumn=fieldingPct MLB Player Fielding Stats: 2008], ESPN

On May 23, 2009, Braun was charged with his first error ever in 190 games in left field, when his throw to third was not caught by either [[Bill Hall (infielder)|Bill Hall]] or [[Craig Counsell]], one of whom should have caught it according to Manager [[Ken Macha]], but both of whom were confused as to who was covering the base.[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/23/AR2009052301970.html "Mauer power: Swarzak, Twins beat Brewers 6–2"] Campbell, Dave, ''[[Washington Post]]'', May 23, 2009. Retrieved June 2, 2009. In July 2009, ''ESPN'''s Jon Heyman wrote that Braun had "become a terrific left fielder in no time". Braun led all NL left fielders in 2009 with a .994 fielding percentage. He also led them in putouts (304) and range factor (2.06), was tied for the lead in double plays (2), and was third in assists (8), in 1,364 innings.

In 2010, Braun led NL left fielders in putouts for the third year in a row (279), was second in range factor per game (1.86), and 4th in assists (6).

Jewish heritage

[[File:Ryan Braun 2008-1.jpg|thumb|right|180px|Braun; 2008]]

Braun's father Joe, whose side of the family was almost all killed by the Nazis in World War 2, was born in [[Israel]]. His father immigrated to the United States at age seven.

Braun is [[Jewish]], and said "It's something that draws a lot of interest and something I take pride in."Boroson, Warren. [http://www.jstandard.com/articles/4607/1/Why-Jews-love-baseball "Why Jews love baseball"], ''[[The Jewish Standard]]'', August 8, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2008. His nickname is "The Hebrew Hammer," which references his Jewish heritage, former Brewer [[Hank Aaron]] (whose nickname was "Hammerin' Hank"), and the movie ''[[The Hebrew Hammer]]'', starring [[Adam Goldberg]]. It is also the nickname of former teammate [[Gabe Kapler]], and was a nickname for former All-Stars [[Al Rosen]] and [[Hank Greenberg]].

Braun is one of the highest-drafted [[List of Jews in sports|Jewish ballplayers]] in the history of professional baseball. The [[New York Yankees]] made [[Ron Blomberg]] the [[List of MLB first overall draft choices|number one pick]] in the 1967 draft. Braun was considered the best Jewish minor league baseball prospect in 2006, and became major league baseball's first Jewish Rookie of the Year the following season. In each of 2007 and 2008, Braun hit more home runs (34 and 37) than all but 3 of the top 10 career Jewish home run hitters had hit in their best seasons. Only [[Hank Greenberg]] (58), [[Shawn Green]] (49), and [[Al Rosen]] (43) hit more in a single year. Through the 2010 season he was 2nd on the all-time career list in batting average (directly behind Hank Greenberg), 7th in home runs (behind [[Mike Epstein]]), and 10th on the RBI list (behind Youkilis), for Jewish major leaguers.

"Braun" was, coincidentally, the family name of [[Sandy Koufax]], until his mother remarried and he took his stepfather's name. "There's no [family] connection that I know of," Braun said, "but it's kind of cool." In another coincidence, Braun lived for a time with his maternal grandfather in a house that previously belonged to Jewish [[Hall of Fame]] outfielder [[Hank Greenberg]]. Braun's grandfather has lived in the house for over 40 years.

In December 2007, Braun was the only Jewish athlete invited by President [[George W. Bush]] to the annual [[Hanukkah]] Dinner at the [[White House]], where he talked baseball with the President. Braun was later featured in the 2008 Hank Greenberg 75th Anniversary edition of Jewish Major Leaguers Baseball Cards, published in affiliation with [[Fleer]] Trading Cards and the [[American Jewish Historical Society]], commemorating the Jewish Major Leaguers from 1871 through 2008. He joined, among other Jewish major leaguers, Ausmus, Youkilis, [[Ian Kinsler]], [[Brian Horwitz]], [[Gabe Kapler]], [[Jason Marquis]], [[Ike Davis]], [[Jason Hirsh]], [[John Grabow]], [[Craig Breslow]], [[Scott Feldman]], and [[Scott Schoeneweis]]. Braun was one of three Jewish players in the 2008 All-Star Game, joining Kinsler and Youkilis, and one of three Jewish players on the Team USA 2009 [[World Baseball Classic]] team, joining Youkilis and Grabow.[http://www.stljewishlight.com/commentaries/294006036495314.php "Editorial: Anti-semitism in Venezuela; There is No Joy In Caracas,"] 3/19/09, accessed 3/19/09 He and Feldman were voted the 2009 co-Jewish MVP by Jewish Major Leaguers. "There aren't too many Jewish athletes at the highest level," said Braun. "It's something that I certainly embrace."

Braun was inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in January 2010.

Family

Braun's younger brother, [[middle infielder]] Steve Braun, played for the [[University of Maryland, College Park]]. He signed with the Brewers in 2008 as a [[free agent]], and in 2009 was on the roster of the Brewers' low-A affiliate, the [[Wisconsin Timber Rattlers]] until he broke an ankle in June.[http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/49561102.html "On the upswing once again"] Haudricourt, Tom, ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'', June 30, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2009.

Pursuits outside baseball

Braun is developing his own signature fashion [[t-shirt]] line for [[Affliction Clothing]], a California-based clothing manufacturer owned by friends of his which manufactures shirts that are garment dyed and hand [[distressed inventory|distressed]]. In August 2008 he filmed a [[YouTube]] video with [[supermodel]] [[Marisa Miller]] for [[Remington Products|Remington]]'s ShortCut clippers, which was released in the fall.[http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=781359 "Beauty and the Brewer; Supermodel Marisa Miller, Ryan Braun shoot Remington hair-care ad going straight to YouTube to reach young male demographic"] ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'', August 9, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2009. And in October 2008, [[Apple Inc.|Apple]] released a commercial for its new [[iPhone]], which showed a clip of Braun's 10th inning [[walk-off]] grand slam against the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 25, 2008, which kept the Brewers' [[Wild card (sports)|Wild Card]] hopes alive. [[Gatorade]] used the same clip in its November 2008 "League of Clutch" commercial. He has also signed endorsement deals with [[CytoSport]], a supplement maker, [[Nike, Inc.|Nike]], [[Wilson Sporting Goods|Wilson]], Mikita Sports for autographs and memorabilia, Sam Bat, and [[AirTran Airways]], and is working on his own line of aluminum bats. Braun has turned down a request by [[American Broadcasting Company|ABC]] that he appear on the TV show "[[The Bachelor (TV series)|''The Bachelor'']]".[http://www.wisn.com/sports/19671716/detail.html "Sutton Says: Braun The Bachelor?; Brewers Leftfielder Turns Down ABC's Offer"], WISN.com'', June 5, 2009. Retrieved June 6, 2009.Braun has appeared in commercials in 2010 for [[CytoSport|Muscle Milk]] and for Dick's Sporting Goods. Also in 2010, Braun opened two restaurants in Wisconsin, Ryan Braun's Waterfront in Milwaukee's [[Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee|Historic Third Ward]] and Ryan Braun's Tavern & Grill in Lake Geneva. In late 2010 Braun's Milwaukee location closed for remodeling and to upgrade it's menu. It's current status is unknown.

See also

  • [[List of Jews in sports#Baseball|List of select Jewish Major League Baseball players]]



References

External links

  • [http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=%2408765&position=3B Fangraphs minor league stats]
  • [http://www.nashvillesounds.com/clubhouse/Default.asp?playerId=155 Nashville Sounds bio]
  • [http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Ryan_Braun_%28braunry02%29 BR Bullpen profile]
  • [http://armchairgm.com/index.php?title=Ryan_Braun ArmchairGM Profile]
  • [http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/leagues/NCAA/03_BraunFOY.html "Baseball America Freshman of the Year, 2003], Ryan Braun" June 16, 2003
  • [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDzBF7AFYLE Ryan Braun (Nashville Sounds) Interview] ''The Brew Crew Review'', April 2007
  • [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFCu_OTw7O0 "Adam Carolla Interviews Braun] – [[Jim Rome Is Burning]]," August 2007
  • [http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2007/08/ryan_braun_grea.php "Ryan Braun: Greatest First-Year Slugger Ever?,"] August 20, 2007
  • [http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/story/2007/8/23/02737/7490 "Ryan Braun Goes For Rookie Slugging Record,"] August 23, 2007





[[Category:1983 births]][[Category:2009 World Baseball Classic players]][[Category:Baseball players from California]][[Category:Brevard County Manatees players]][[Category:Helena Brewers players]][[Category:Huntsville Stars players]][[Category:Jewish American sportspeople]][[Category:Jewish Major League Baseball players]][[Category:Living people]][[Category:Major League Baseball left fielders]][[Category:Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award winners]][[Category:Major League Baseball third basemen]][[Category:Miami Hurricanes baseball players]][[Category:Milwaukee Brewers players]][[Category:Nashville Sounds players]][[Category:National League All-Stars]][[Category:Sportspeople from Los Angeles, California]][[Category:West Virginia Power players]]

[[fr:Ryan Braun]][[ko:라이언 브라운]][[ja:ライアン・ブラウン (外野手)]][[zh:莱恩·布劳恩]]

As retrieved from Wikipedia

 

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